Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Where Do Adverts Go When They Die?

Not sure? Me either.

The obvious answer is into an ageing Creative's faded portfolio. But the brand -or soul?- of an ad can linger on, like a balloon stuck in a tree. But then, do ads actually die? Because seeing on old ad isn't like seeing a ghost is it... Or is it?

I've been sent into existential meltdown by this website - a collector's index for toy Routemaster bus perverts. Now, as any good designer worth his horn-rimmed glassess will tell you, the Routemaster bus was a classic - so perfect in fact, that it looked exactly the same for decades. So, the only way to tell a Routemaster apart was by it's livery... Or indeed, by the bleedin' adverts they put on 'em!

And this is where it gets spooky: Are the adverts on iconic toy buses, iconic in themselves? Are they the noisey poltergeists of successful campaigns, or merely the misty phantoms of popular culture. Or to put it another way: Is this Advertising Nirvana, or Advertising Limbo?

Cadbury Double Decker I'd say marches triumphantly into Advertising Valhalla- a perfect balance of medium and message.

Hmmm... "Weetabix with hazard-signs" on the other hand is a bit more contrived; very hazy - "The spirits are weakening."

As for this, I'm not even convinced this was a proper one. This is'nt a ghost, it's a Halloween costume.
And finally, this. The briefest, hollowest echo of the brand Schweppes. It could almost be random couldn't it; another blank face at the bar in Advertising Purgatory.

So are these spirits transcendent or are they damned; or is it just fucking around with nostalgia? I still can't figure it out. Maybe I need Derek Acorah to help me - a Spiritualist mystic with supernatural powers...
A bit like a planner.

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